Thursday, July 8, 2010

Beyaz Balik Restaurant: Istanbul, Turkey

In June, while Judy and I were in Istanbul, Turkey, we spent a day with a local Turkish guide. For lunch on this quite warm day, we decided to eat at a restaurant on the underside of the Galata Bridge which spans the Golden Horn and connects Sultanahmet, the old side of European Istanbul, with the new side (there is also a large portion of Istanbul in Asia spanned by several other bridges). It was perfect for a warm day because the bridge overhead provided a screen from the sun and there was a wonderful cool breeze coming off the water. We picked the Beyaz Balik restaurant, one of several restaurants under the bridge. Aside from the cool sea breeze, we had wonderful views of the ferries crossing the Golden Horn,
the New Mosque near the Spice Market
and the Galata Tower on the newer side of European Istanbul.
They brought us the actual fish on the menu to help us make a decision.
Judy had the red snapper, cubed and fried into what they called kabobs.
It was quite good. I had grilled sea bass. I asked for only half, thinking it would reduce the price, but I ended up paying for the whole thing and getting only half the fish, but it was still as much as I could eat. It had a nice taste, perhaps just a tad dry.
Our guide got shrimp in some sort of sauce that was also quite good.
We also ordered some appetizers: olives wrapped in anchovies which were very good (the anchovies, caught locally in the Black Sea, were not as salty as the anchovies we get at home); dolmas (rice wrapped in grape leaves); and two types of tzatziki sauce. We also had a wonderful heavy bread which we dipped in olive oil infused with red pepper flakes. It was fantastic. It was a very nice meal, but much more than we would like to have paid. It was about $120.00 for the three of us.


  1. Yep, it was really about a $60 meal. I think we paid for the view.

  2. We were surprised at how much of our budget went for food this trip, and that even before we hit Premiere Moisson (a bargain, by comparison). I'm glad yours was good--I had no idea there was more than one kind of tzatziki sauce.

    When we were on our honeymoon in Austria, we went over to a small diverted stream of water where the restaurant had a holding tank. We pointed out which trout we wanted and then a moment or two after we'd sat back down we heard a "whack!" and the fish was slugged to death by a wooden club, then fried up and served to us. We had seconds, as it was amazing.